Link Sleuth 101

Finding the best links
Finding the best links is not all that difficult if you’re willing to spend just a little bit of time to evaluate the web site where you’re looking to get a link from. Over the past ten years, this method has provided the results sought after by the clients I’ve served.

Keep in mind that I view social bookmarking as just another passing fad, or the latest electronic ephemera and you’ll understand why I prefer to work for my links much like a curator acquires objects for a museum collection.

Spending just a little bit of time evaluating a web site will lead you to the most important pages within the site. These are the pages you should be seeking links on.

Here’s an example for you from one of my link campaigns.

While looking for potential link sources, I found a closely related site that ranked well across the search engines and had very decent PageRank on their home page. Instead of immediately looking for a links page where I could have requested a link, I used Yahoo! Site Explorer to to get a quick overview of the site.

Yahoo! Site Explorer generally lists pages from a site in descending order of importance, so it’s easy to see which pages are the most powerful pages within a site. Look at the titles for the first 10 results and find the pages that are closely related to your own site. Click the “Explore” button for each related page and then check the external inbound links for that specific page.

When I did this, I found that the second result (a technical page very closely related to the site I was working on) had 600 plus external inbound links, with a much better link profile than the home page. There were quality inbound links from universities, professional trade associations, a .gov and topical deeplinks in directories such as, DMOZ, Yahoo!, BOTW and GoGuides. In other words, the best of the best – citation based links.

This kind of page is pure gold when it comes to links, and the few minutes spent researching the site led me to this 24K nugget. I’d rather have my link on a page such as this as opposed to a links page, blog comment or social bookmark any day.

In the long run, which link do you think will give you more value? Splog commenting and social bookmarking schemes are for the lazy or those promoting Internet road apples to begin with.

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